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Should I keep on accepting the gifts?

(12 Posts)
Berrie Mon 23-Jul-07 18:15:14

I have a relative who I am very fond of. She has no husband or children and me, my Mum and my siblings are her only relatives. She is VERY generous to us and our children since I gave up work. She often sends the children beautiful clothes and gifts and for the past year or two has sent us £200 for holidays. This year she asked, as usual, if we would rather have birthday presents or holiday money and, not wanting her to think me grasping, took my time replying while I tried to think of a more modest gift, so she sent the cheque anyway saying that it would be the last time she could do it since she has now retired.
I got an e-mail yesterday offering, as a joint B'day and anniversary gift, a weekend away with DH.
I don't want offend her by saying no but I also feel uncomfortable I suppose that I just keep taking taking taking. Am I being silly? I can't ask advice from other members of the family as I don't want them to know how much she gives us. I'd really like some of your views on this.

donnie Mon 23-Jul-07 18:19:04

it sounds like she genuinely likes giving the presents and that she can afford it - you are her family, as you say. Maybe you could turn the situation around and do something which involved her, like use the money to all go away for a w'end and take her with you? or something like that.

Berrie Mon 23-Jul-07 18:24:06

Thanks, thought of that but she has a crazy, uncontrollable dog that eats everything and runs away which she can't get innoculated for kennel cough so she can't leave him. Makes it tricky!

Paddlechick666 Mon 23-Jul-07 18:24:32

What a lovely and generous relative.

I can understand how you might feel but it seems to me that she doesn't feel obligated to be so generous. In fact she is comfortable enough to be able to say it wouldn't continue due her retirement.

If you really do feel uncomfortable then email her back with the same honesty and explain why you're refusing her gift.

I'm sure she doesn't feel it's a one way thing as she probably gets a great deal of pleasure from her relationship with you.

My SM sent a cheque for £50 at xmas and I took several months to cash it as I felt guilty - I don't see her very often. In the end I told her I'd put it in dd's government fund thing. SM said that'd be fine but she'd be more than happy to treat myself.

As it turned out, I bought a week's food with it as things were a bit tight.

Anyway, I digress.

Hope you work out a solution you're all happy with.

Berrie Mon 23-Jul-07 18:30:54

Thanks Paddlechick. Glad it's not just me who feels like this. I wouldn't want to come across as horribly ungrateful.

PrettyCandles Mon 23-Jul-07 18:34:05

There's no reason why you shouldn't speak honestly with her about that fact that you feel you're taking taking taking. But learning to receive with grace is as important as learnign to give with generosity.

Would you like to be able to reciprocate? Not necessarily financially, but do you see her at all? Do your children send her letters and pictures? Do they have a relationship with her? You can't always value things in £££s. A close connection with your children may give her enormous pleasure - why shoudln't they have another Granny? I do. My mum's sister has no children, but has been so wonderful for me (and I don't jsut mean fianncially) that I am so lucky to have two mothers.

PrettyCandles Mon 23-Jul-07 18:35:32

whoops. darling ds2 knocked the mouse and deleted a phrase! Meant to say "that I teller her I am so lucky to have two mothers."

Berrie Mon 23-Jul-07 18:36:21

You are right Prettycandles. I do do photos and cards from the children but we don't see her enough...

Berrie Mon 23-Jul-07 18:39:15

And I'd never thought of her as another Granny. Gosh she is more like a distant Granny than their real Grandma but without the relationship! Mmm I suspect it is guilt about this that is causing the anxiety. Pity about the crazy dog...

Paddlechick666 Mon 23-Jul-07 19:45:59

there's always a dog sitting service perhaps? they look after the pet in their own home.

Berrie Mon 23-Jul-07 19:47:25

Ho ho ho. This is a dog that has been banned from 2 training classes! It eats peoples things!

UCM Mon 23-Jul-07 19:53:15

Take the money, bung it in an account for the kids. Send photos every few months and a letter every month. Try to see her every now & then though, tell her the kids are frightened of dogs and go on your own.

You might get the house.

Only joking, I am the first person to tell my elderly Father to spend spend spend

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